BEMIDJI, Minn. — Two regional experts on wolves will discuss the impact of the removal of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Bemidji Public Library.
Barry Babcock of Laporte and Robert J. Shimek of the White Earth Reservation will be talking about the removal of gray wolf protections, and the impacts of a possible recreational hunt season on the population of wolves in Minnesota.
According to figures from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the state’s wolf population in 2018 remains above the state’s minimum goal of at least 1,600 wolves.
The debate of recreational hunting of wolves comes after a proposal by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make hunting and trapping of wolves legal again after July 15.
The proposed law plans to restore the management rights to the states and tribes after the removal of their endangered protections.
Babcock is the founder of the grassroots organization Jack Pine Coalition and a regular witness on wolf issues at the state Legislature in conjunction with the non-profit group Howling for Wolves.
Shimek will speak about the importance of the wolf to the Anishinaabe culture and spiritual beliefs.